PEOPLE LIKE US

PETER GOURZIS > RENMARK, SA

STORY CARLY DALE PHOTOS CHRIS THORGOOD

BLOKES like Peter Gourzis are a rare breed these days Ė backyard engineers with problemsolving noggins and tons of patience. A selfemployed diesel mechanic, Peter enjoys the challenge of getting the most out of a powerplant, and heís not afraid to get fiddly. We had a yarn with him at Milduraís Nostalgia Drags.

Had the VC for a while?

For about 27 years. I bought it as a half-finished project. It had a 225ci Slant-six, which I binned straight away to add the 265 Hemi. Over the last six years Iíve stripped it and given it a fresh coat of paint, re-did all of the front suspension, strengthened the chassis and added a swaybar.

I do everything on it.

Whatís it running?

The 265 is worked and runs mechanical injection. Behind is a 904 trans with a 4500rpm AK converter. And the diff is a Toyota HiLux from my old work ute Ė it has really strong axles and the shorter wheel-track lets me change the rim and tyre widths by using different spacers.

Tell us about the mechanical injection.

In 1990 I bought a McGee manifold and then made everything to suit. I love to build things, tinker, play and modify. I made my own fuel nozzles and barrel valves as you canít buy anything to suit pump fuel. Not only did I design and make them, I then had to get it to work Ė itís not simple! I also made the trumpets, and have tried different lengths and inserts in the search for power. To prime the engine Iíve placed a row of electronic injectors on the outside edge of the trumpets, which I activate with a push-button in the cabin. A Hilborn PG150 mechanical fuel pump then kicks in, fed from an 11-litre surge tank. Fuel is delivered from the back via floats and regs; I actually run three fuel tanks and three pumps. I race on methanol for a bit more power but mostly for consistency. Pump fuel fart-arses around so to run it on the street I change to smaller nozzles and recalibrate everything.

Why mechanical?

I love cars with trumpets on them, plus it makes more power while keeping it streetable. Iíll put rego on it soon, to go cruising and shopping.

Yet mechanical injection is not an easy thing to manage Ė if you donít know what youíre doing, youíve got no hope. Iíve got mechanic mates who look at it and still scratch their heads. Iím just a bloke whoís happy to persist with it.

Whatís it run?

My PB is a 7.3@93mph on the eighth at Mildura, and 11.60@114mph on the quarter at AIR.

Peter from PK Automotive dynos it and so far itís made 238rwkW on pump fuel. While I did win the Nostalgia Dragsí Aussie Muscle class, itís not a really fast car in the Super Street bracket.

Itís only a six and naturally aspirated. But I donít care if I go fast or slow, I just love it.

Whatís next?

Iím adding an airbox and ducting to draw cooler air from the front of the car. Over the years Iíve cut and shut the extractors four times hunting for more horsepower and Iím in the process of trying that again. Iím also going to a bigger tyre to lower the rpm, as it was too high and out of the power range on the quarter Ė crossing the line on 6900rpm in top, with 4.3 diff gears.

Iím looking to race it on the quarter soon to test these mods. I never stop playing and trying to get more power. I have to thank my wife Dannielle and our four kids. They put up with me doing this! s

Mechanical injection is not an easy thing to manage Ė if you donít know what youíre doing, youíve got no hope